NORTHWEST POWER IN PERIL????? : LUSENET : Deregulation / Restructuring Discussion: - Energy Utilities in the 21st Century : One Thread

Per suggestion, I am posting a copy of an e-mail I sent to Rick for his comments, however, I welcome anyone's input on this situation.

>   Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my correspondence. I
>am on your Energyland e-mail list, and have also gained great benefit
>from your Y2K site. Your site was able to help generate the awareness
>here that was necessary to have such a smooth 1/1/2000 rollover.
>    I am a consultant for Boeing Aircraft, here in Seattle, and try to
>stay abreast of any major issues concerning power distribution, etc.,.
>The equipment that I oversee  at the little airplane company is
>responsible for painting the aircraft. This requires huge hangers,
>robotic painters, environmental controls, heat and drying systems,
>etc.,. All of this requires lots of power. We here in the Pacific
>Northwest also consume lots of juice with the manufacture of aluminum
>and silicon wafers.
>    I have just been made aware of a report produced by the Northwest
>Power Planning Council and find it quite disturbing. In their report
>they state that there is a 1 in 4 chance that our region will not have
>enough electricity to meet peak demands during the next four winters. To
>reduce that risk to 1 in 20, they claim that 3,000 megawatts of new
>power generation must be added, but that it may already be too late to
>accomplish even that. They go on to say that if gas turbine generators
>were to be purchased today, (ostensibly the fastest way to bring
>capacity on line), it would still not be ready in time to avert a
>   Also in its analysis, the Council apparently counted on having two
>major sources of energy that are currently targeted for destruction by
>environmental activists. Namely the 4,000 megawatt of peak power
>generated by the lower Snake River dams,  as well as power from many
>smaller existing hydro projects that are coming up for licensing by the
>federal government. As you probably know, this is a big movement here
>with many sympathetic politicians in bed with these environmentalists.
>Save the salmon at any cost is a mantra echoing the halls of our state
>government from noon till night.
>   I gleaned the above information from a piece written by Don Brunell,
>President of the Association of Washington Businesses. He seems VERY
>concerned and is trying to raise the flag on this problem.
>Here is the press release from the councils study:
>Here is the complete study:
>   I guess my real questions are these:
>1)- Do you think, based on your knowledge of the industry that this is a
>true assessment of the situation?
>2)- While no one can predict the actions of politicians, is this a cause
>for great concern???
>3)- Assuming the above is true, is there a path to a solution with known
>technology within the time frame described?
>   I am always looking for a better and more informed perspective than
>those caught up in the fray. Thanks again for taking the time, and I
>look forward to your reply.
>Best Regards,

-- DANA KLATT (, February 08, 2000


Dana - I haven't forgotton about you (promise!) - I haven't had the time this week to give the study you referenced a good review. Will try to do so this weekend...

-- Rick Cowles (, February 11, 2000.

I see that this topic is currently being discussed on Ed Yourdons site .

-- Malcolm Taylor (, March 06, 2000.

Thank you for your questions and I wish Rick would respond! I live in Spokane WA and can not believe that we are even discussing the breaching of these 4 dams. It is a "no brainer". I am going to check out Ed Yourdon's site. BTW this issue will have a big impact on not just the Pacific NW but our energy hungry (ravenous really) neighbors in California!

-- Tim Davis (, May 31, 2000.

Tim, Thanks for sharing my concern. I am troubled that I still have not received a response to my questions. I was hoping for some "less biased" input, for asking the local utilities / politicos is futile and useless. Kind of like asking the fox how the hen house is doing!! I have only received one other response to my contribution which I will forward on to you, you may find it useful. If you hear anything along the lines of this topic being discussed anywhere, please share, I will do the same.

Best Regards, DANA

-- DANA KLATT (, June 01, 2000.


In light of current events, while we here in the Pacific Northwest are sitting around wondering when the lights will wink out, it might be time to have a spirited discussion of this subject. My initial question visa vi, "could this really happen?", seems to have been answered. Now the question is, "what to do about it?"

Best Regards, DANA KLATT

-- DANA KLATT (, December 12, 2000.

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